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> Issue 42 > Page 75 - With Archie Neil Chisholm or Margaree Forks

Page 75 - With Archie Neil Chisholm or Margaree Forks

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1 (215 reads)

Angus Chisholm doy at their best, duff and doy, duff and doy./ They cannot please the Scottish taste, along with 'Tulloch Gorm.'" Now that's one of the verses to that "Tulloch Gorm." And we would learn from listening to her; it unconsciously became part of us, this music. She sang when she was washing the dishes. She sang when she'd be churning. The old-fashioned chum. She'd be singing a song, and the foot would be going, and the chum would be going. Her uncle was a violin player, her brother was a violin player, Angus MacLennan. I had three sis? ters, and there were lots of the younger people used to come to visit. And quite often there'd be what they'd call a kitch? en racket, a party, and there'd be a fid? dler there. We used to just eat up that sort of stuff, by sitting around and watch? ing the fiddler play. We weren't inter? ested in the dancing when we were small, just watching the fiddler play. And when we started to learn, we learned fairly quickly ourselves. (You and Angus?) Yeah. So we learned a few tunes. And we started in country places. Our neighbours would have a party and they'd say, "We'll get the Chisholm boys." All right, this was fine. I remember my first drink as well as if it were today. Playing at a dance. And Angus wouldn't take it, he was a year younger. (He wasn't drinking.) Not then. But I took mine. An old man--man of the house--called me in. It was what they called a kitchen party, just everybody dancing in the kitch? en. We were playing in sort of a doorway like that, and they were dancing in two rooms in this house. Called me into the pantry. And I was too big-feeling or some? thing, or I was bound to fall. He passed me this and he said, "Try that." It was a- bout half a water glass full of moonshine • He didn't mean anything bad. He probably thought I'd taken it before. And I took my first one. That was all I took that night. I was of? fered it again, but I wouldn't. But the glow--the glow you got from it. Angus couldn't understand ito And Angus was scared then. My father was very strict. Al? though he would take a drink himself, but he was very strict. And coming home, horse and wagon, Angus said, "I'll put the horse in the bam, and you get in the house and get to bed." He said, "I can still smell that." He knew that I had a drink. I was scared for months afterwards that they'd find out. You never forget certain things like that. And I began to realize that after I got a few drinks in that I felt that I was-- these were the equalizers--these made a fellow who was lame equal to anybody. I couldn't dance, I didn't go for girl friends at the time. I had a bit of an in? feriority complex, on account of being crippled. And I played and played and played at dances with my brother Angus, who was a big, fine-looking fellow. Angus would go for the girl friends all the time, and have them by the dozen. And I never had quite the courage to do very much of that. Because I was always afraid of being turned down on account of being crippled. Now I'm telling you the truth there. But once I had a few in, I felt as good as any? body then. (Did you feel there was any competition be? tween you as fiddlers?) No. There was no competition because I realized that he was far, far ahead of me. There was no competi? tion. We'll say that for the first three years of our playing there was a plateau, we were about equal. And then he began to ''Old Fashioned Hospitaliti; makes The Castle Inn the Traveller's Choice" 400 KINGS ROAD, SYDNEY 564-4567 OVEBJ.OOKING SYDNEY HARBOUR 105 BEAUTIFUL ROOMS • ALL NEWLY DECORATED NEW TELEPHONE SYSTEM * AIR CONDITIONED * COLOR CABLE TV 116 EXTRA LONG BEDS * 60 DRIVE-UP ROOMS LICENSED DINING ROOM (75)
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